tv [untitled] May 24, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm PDT
i do believe that the intensification of the beach chalet as proposed in this particular project, although modified to the way that it was presented today and i appreciate that, is still too intense, partially because the use of lighting from dusk until 10:00 at night, and i do believe that astroturf, for all the reasons that were described, for health and environmental reasons, is an inappropriate response to that natural setting. there are many studies. i am not sure that i can properly tied them to astroturf and the particular form that you have tied them to this facility, but the rubber particles that are found in the environment are more and more found in the food chain of wildlife.
and that is of great concern, because that creates a breakdown and environmental impact, the effects of which have not been fully analyzed. this is both in water as well as a land. in land, plastic disintegration, and astroturf, given the descriptions that have been given to this commission, there is a clear indication is not yet a material that is environmentally stable and its recycled form. having said that, to know that it can only be used about 10 years, that it has problems when the weather is hot, that it needs to be disinfected to be useful, that creates many complications for me. i do think that children can be easily influenced to stand in front of us and speak to the benefit of using it as a playing
surface. however, there is no information given to them, nor do i expect them to understand some of the down sides ought when injuries occur or the long-term exposure to this material, the effects of which we do not know yet, from skin rashes to injuries to cuts and bruises that do not heal, whatever that all might be. i do not want to belabor the point. i want to express my support for your mission regarding the difficulties of increasing and upgrading soccer and other sports facilities and the city. in this particular case, i cannot use the project as proposed and summarized in the eir. i cannot. >> my comments will be more general to the project. regarding soccer, the university of california berkeley, portions
of stanford university, usf, cal state, sacramento state, humboldt state, those are the local northern california colleges, and number of universities, high schools. i think this is the trend. i think many of the kids, many of the better kids who were here, soccer players, are on to end up playing in a turf field somewhere, a regional tournament or somewhere, and the better ones to go on to college will play on turf. i would rather give them the advantage now, laying their path street. when i was a kid, playing any kind of team sport, the most important thing was playing time. having these fields and being able to use four of them, to be able to use them at dusk without rainouts will reduce overall planning time. my comments to those about the native condition of the golden gate park, the casting ponds are
concrete. at the museums are artificially man-made, the rose garden was created. at the conservatory flowers, the tennis courts, the band shell, the buffaloes are not native. i think it is a great place to recreate, but it is not a great place to preserve, yet a great place. so i am supportive of it. if this project sees the light of day, i think a concession there near north beach called the surf and turf would be fantastic. commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: a couple of other points. what i think during testimony moved me the most was the fact that a number of groups came up and said the choice for them was not between natural turf and artificial turf. that was between at any kind of turf and the pavement. they had to play on pavement
because there are so few fields. i think this is important to keep in mind as we move forward. we also found that we have kids in san francisco, contrary to what has been pointed out. we have a lot of them, and they are very articulate and they're learning about public process. one other thing that came out, has been brought up in testimony, is whether or not you need to analyze the alternatives. according to ceqa, we do not have to do that. there are four alternatives taken up in the eir, which is in regards to this project itself. but you do not have to analyze an entirely different project to conform with ceqa. so while that is an interesting concept, although i think the light will have more impact on a greater number of people in the middle of an area where it is completely housing than they will in an area where it is not too many residents of other
than at the animals that live around there or the insects or others. there was also a comment about heat with astroturf. artificial turf has come a long way since the astroturf days. i don't think the heat at beach chalet will be a problem too often. although there are areas where it is warmer, that is one of the sites. i can testify, i think the kids are right about playing on the artificial turf on some of the older fields of san francisco. i played softball on many fields before the was artificial turf, and we had a lot of problems with the fields in those days. it was hard to play softball, and i think soccer would be more difficult. i am going to move to certify
the eir, if there are no other comments. >> second. >> commissioners, the action before the planning commission, the motion before the planning commission is to certify the final eir. on that motion -- [roll-call vote] thank you commissioners, that motion passes for-one, with commissioner moore voting no against. [applause] commissioners, another action before the planning commission it is adoption of the ceqa findings. commissioner antonini: i move adoption of the findings under the california environmental quality act. commissioner borden: second. >> commissioners, the motion before you is adoption of the ceqa findings --
[roll-call vote] that motion passed 4-1, with commissioner moore voting against. thank you. item three is the general plan in conformity findings, propose the adoption, and that is for planning commission action only. commissioner antonini: move to approve a general plan conformity findings. commissioner borden: second. >> the motion is for approval of the general plan conformity findings -- [roll-call vote] mahnke, commissioners, that motion passed 4-1, with commissioner moore voting against. commissioner antonini: i would like to move approval or the request, rather, for postal zone permit. >> for approval of the zoning
permit? commissioner antonini: approval. commissioner borden: second. >> the motion before you is approval of the coastal zone permit -- [roll-call vote] thank you, commissioners, that motion passed 4-1, with commissioner mill were voting against. item five is for the rec and park commission item only. before do is the approving the beach chalet athletic fields conceptual plan and making findings, including findings of consistency with the golden gate park master plan and findings under the california environmental quality act. this is an action for the rec and park commission only. >> thank you. commissioners? >> i have a variety of thoughts.
at this late hour, i cannot attest to the order they will come out. in my years on the commission, have been part of several eir hearings and readings, and i'm sure my colleagues on the planning commission would know far better than i, but i would have to say never has there ever been not unanimity. never is their total agreement. i have never spurred anybody say that as a final eir and we all agree. i think it is the nature of debate, the nature of dissent, the nature of discussion. tonight, it's obviously no exception. at the end of the day, this is the fundamentals of agreement and disagreement. for my purposes, it is just going to have to be something where i agree to disagree. with the many people who have testified this evening whom i have respect for and who i actually agree with the sentiment of the environment and concerns.
at the same time, i fear that some of the issues that were raised relative to the eir were also availed it disregard for children activating that part of the park. i was a little dismayed. i felt like there was a fair amount of comment aimed at children and families that i was a little disheartened by. one gentleman said it is not always about the kids. i have to say, you know, no kidding, try raising a family here. somebody said the reason families are leaving is because of the high cost of housing, not because of the lack of playing fields. i would just say to that that is a cumulative effect. it is a constant struggle trying to deal with the cost of housing, the transit, the schools, and the ball fields. it is not easy raising a family in the city.
that does not -- that does not inform my decision, however, but it is something that concerns me. what informs my decision tonight is something that i take very seriously with all of my votes on this commission, and that is actually that we have to look for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. and there are families, there are adults, there are grownups, people who are interested in outdoor activity will benefit greatly from this change. we're talking about over 1,100 acres of golden gate park, less than 1% for this field. there are already ball fields. the ancillary benefit is undeniable, and that is an activation of a part of the parke. i take my job, as i know my
colleagues on the commission do, very seriously. one of our main charges is to bring more people to our facilities, more people to our parks, to activate people, to get our kids and grown-ups out there. i would not be taking this job as seriously if i did not consider that we need to be 4- thinking and progressive and innovative with our parks -- forward thinking and progressive and innovative with our parks. when we had the golf course, there was a fair amount of resistance to that, and that has been a very successful in addition to the park, activating an area of the park that otherwise would not be activated. it is hard to say it is ahead of the curve when it comes to activities, because we are such an active city. this department is trying. there were many years when soccer was not popular. i'm sure it was popular with some communities, but was not a mainstream sport, and here we a are now catching up and it is a
hard position. we tried renovating the beach chalet fields in 1998 and the fields did not take. if we wanted to keep the natural grass, the amount of resources are disproportionate to the amount that we could devote to other services and fields and parks and our department. it would not work. we're very lucky to have the field foundation give us this field the way they have in other parts of the city. at a time of per. , i would like to move except in of the resolution before you pac. commissioner bonilla: it is late and i will try to keep my comments very, very brief. i'm conflicted with this project. there is no question about it. i have always been in support of natural grasses, and have always
asked at every opportunity that could be afforded that we would have natural grass fields. that has always been my position. i'm very much in support of natural areas, native plants, and the fact that -- to this point, i have been very supportive of the city fields projects. all over the city. then, when this project came up in terms of doing synthetic turf at golden gate park, it just hit me. i have always envisioned golden gate park as our city treasurer that would always look one way,
that it would always -- certainly we have all of these different venues, but first activities -- the first activities with the museums and what have you, but i never envisioned tthat we would have anything unnatural at golden gate park. so that is a difficult one for me. because of my preference for natural grass. in fact, i was very pleased when the san francisco giants community fund came up and put some money is up and some partners -- and some gardeners to do some natural parks, especially in the excelsior, to
renovate the park and the excelsior, where it was needed. i think was very innovative. it was a very strong commitment that they developed, renovated that part, and committed a gardener to maintain it, which is great for us. so, to me, this is a little trouble some. the other, as commissioner moore has so clearly stated, there is so much we do not know about the potentially incurious toxic nature of the fields. in fact, i have many family members who are associated with this to have a lot to say about this subject. they deal with lead, asbestos, and a lot of these elements that are harmful to people, and they
are very concerned that i would be voting about -- the fact that i would be voting to support something -- i mean, to support a synthetic turf field. i mean, i have been under a lot of pressure, needless to say, from my family to really think long and hard about this. the other thing is that not much has been said that -- and i really don't have as much information as i would like to have -- about what the cost ultimately is when we resurface, when we need to resurface the beach chalet and
all of the other city fields, all of the other turf fields. i mean, but what the cost is going to be and whether at the end of the day the rec and park department and the city, for that matter, is going to be saddled with a hardship financially of replacing or resurfacing these fields. and then the other thing is how difficult it is going to be. is it going to be a slam dunk that we can resurface them and the cost are not on to be that prohibitive? that might be the case, but i don't know. i feel i really don't have all of the information at hand as to how that will play out in the
future. so that has ben -- that is very troublesome to me. but that being said, in the latin community, particularly in the mission district and now everywhere in the city, soccer is a wildly popular. i mean, everyone wants to play this sport. and i feel conflicted about the idea, the concerns i just mentioned, that i would vote against a project to limit the accessibility to youth and to
adults to play soccer, to have that opportunity to play soccer and to be able to find an outlet other than just texting or playing computer games and not being active. i mean, i think i have mentioned before, at other times, i have a concern about the inactivity of youth and the fact that there may be too much -- that they may be too much into technology and not as much into sports and other activities. and so as difficult as it is for
me to vote on this, to support this project, i think that i would not want to vote against giving youth and adults the opportunity to have access to soccer fields and have more playing time here in the city. so those are my comments. >> thank you. other comments from the commissioners? let me make a few. then i think commissioner low, you had a resolution that you wanted to make. i come from a background where we are heavily supporting trying to deal with the issue on the global basis of global warming. and we know that if we don't stops brawl and go into higher
density living in the cities, we are simply not acting on a local basis responsibly, but it is one of the toughest issues to deal with. the planning commission has to deal with all the time. we also know from a population standpoint that california, to those living here today, as a static population. there are about 2.2 people per couple that are reproducing. that keeps you at an even keel, but the growth in california is coming from immigrants. trust me, the sport of preference for immigrants is soccer. today, it was demonstrated in a very clear way, both the park and wrecked apartment, if i had to characterize 95% of the testimony, the testimony would come from those who see it as a park. 90% of the testimony for those of both support the field are advocating from the recreation side. our responsibility is to try to balance those views, look at the
big picture, and served a total population of the city. this project is not a new use, it is the upgrade of an existing use. it creates better safety at the west end of the park and uses less water, provides more play, less injury. and above and beyond all, although people would like to say it is all about money, it is not about money. we have a very generous, philanthropic community that is willing to fund a very substantial portion of this. in my opinion, we would not be doing our duty, we would be derelict of duty not to support this. i know this is painful for some of the broader picture, but on that note, i would like to ask commissioner low to introduce his recommended amendment to this resolution. commissioner low: i guess as the newest commissioner, i don't even show up on the screen. >> but you will. commissioner low: i have an
amendment to the proposed resolution. let me read how i would revise it. whereas the plainfield renovation is consistent with the golden gate park master plan for the following reason, one, under the golden gate park master plan objectives and policies of policyc, major recreation areas, the beach chalet field is a major recreational area and the plan feel the renovation will achieve a specific structure and program recreational use as identified therein. two, as identified in the golden gate master plan recreational facilities, balancing the demand for recreation with the purpose of the parked as a pastoral retreat, the play fields renovation will reduce the need of having new sports fields at:
gate park and will improve and maintain the existing recreational facilities. three, under the golden gate master plan special area plants in richmond and sunshine treatment plant site, the plainfield renovation will eliminate the need for an additional soccer field in the richmond the sunshine treatment plant site and create the opportunity to create the richmond sunshine treatment plant site for other park uses consistent with the golden gate master plan special area plan, richmond-sunset plan site. four, as identified in the golden gate athletic fields, the beach chalet field suffer from high demand, over u.s., poor field conditions, what conditions, and porterage, and the plainfield renovation will mitigate these conditions and significantly improve the area for recreational use, reduce maintenance expenses for these fields. five, it will bring this program
space and compliance with americans with disabilities act. and six, as called for in the golden gate master plan, the west and plan, it will draw people to the use of the western edge of golden gate park and increased legitimate activities and transformed as part of the park. >> thank you, commissioner. commissioner, would you accept that amendment to your motion? commissioner levitan: i will accept that, and i will read the title. the motion is to approve the beach chalet athletic field renovation conceptual plan and making findings, including findings of consistency with the golden gate master park plan and findings under the ceqa. >> as amended by commission low, we have a second? >> said. >> moved and seconded. all of those in favor? >> aye.